An Emblem is a pattern that is used to represent an idea. An emblem crystallizes in concrete, visual terms some abstraction: a deity, a tribe or nation, a virtue or a vice. An emblem is an object or a representation of an object. An emblem may be worn or otherwise used as identifying badge. In current American usage, police officers’ badges refer specifically to their personal metal emblem — sometimes with a uniquely identifying number or name on it — while the woven emblems sewn on their uniforms identify all the members of a particular unit.
A National Emblem symbolically represents a nation. Most national emblems originate in the natural world, (as animals, say, or birds), but any object may serve. National emblems may appear on such items as the national flag, coat of arms, or other patriotic materials. One should not confuse a formal national emblem with less formal symbols potentially associated with tourism or clichés, for example windmills in the Netherlands.